Only the most blinkered of Nationalists will fail to accept the extent to which Lamont easily pulled and pushed Salmond from pillar to post at yesterday’s FMQs.

The apparent suggestion from Nicola Sturgeon that Scotland would have representation on the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee after independence seemed errant and certainly wasn’t helped by Salmond’s vague reference to having talked to Mervyn King recently. The old adage ‘It’s the economy stupid’ has probably been shortened and switched to simply ‘stupid economy’ within SNP circles as outside market forces are the single biggest millstone around the Nationalist neck these days, and for many days to come.

The Treasury sought to lance this particular issue for the SNP today with an appropriately respectful but firm put down of the suggestion that Scotland would have representation on the MPC. The Treasury is not predisposed to helping out the Scottish Government, but it’s not difficult to assume that they are correct.

Alex Salmond should have heard the alarm bells yesterday and fobbed off the question by saying there are two long years to work these details through but he was fatally undermined by allowing half-baked ideas out into the public domain in the first place. People will only be convinced by hard facts and definitive answers from the key stakeholders, be it Bank of England, European Commission, HMRC or whoever. Romantic witterings from independence proponents of ‘Well, the way I see it…’ simply won’t muzzle the custard.

Faced with stubborn poll ratings, seemingly unable to preach beyond the converted (be it at yesterday’s dumb Parliament vote or last week at Cineworld) and a quietly confident set of unionist arguments amounting to ‘why bother?’, the Yes bandwagon is stuck in the dirt. To coin a phrase, the SNP cannot go on like this. Something’s got to give.

The ambitious intention to out-canvas the unionist side and use sophisticated data gathering techniques to give the Yes team an edge is impressive but insufficient. You don’t win arguments without a winning argument and, for me, there are only two scenarios that can lead to a Yes result in 2014 – one is in the SNP’s hands and the other out.

There’s only so many u-turns that any politician can make while still holding onto their credibility. Just look at George Osborne’s pasty tax and charity cap about turns. However, the SNP really has to think through its insistence that it wants to hold on to Sterling and seriously consider embracing a Scottish pound. There are stark differences between Greece being part of Eurozone and an independent Scotland being part of Sterling, but it is precisely the wrong time to hope that you’ll get a fair hearing over how a currency union without a political union will work from a particularly risk-averse Scottish public.

A Scottish currency itself wouldn’t be risk free of course, but it sits happily and more persuasively alongside the very notion of Scottish independence and boosts the SNP’s radical credentials at the same time. I mean, picture the Braveheart-esque scene:

Salmond: ‘It’s the anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn and now it’s our turn to fight for our freedom!’

Nationalist hordes: “Yeeee-haw. Let’s get intae them!”

Salmond: ‘But we’ll be keeping the British currency…’

Nationalist hordes: ‘Ye whit?’

I just don’t see it myself. Sweden and Norway do perfectly well with their own currencies, and Ireland and Greece clearly wish they’d kept their punts and drachmas. There may be early difficulties in balancing a relatively large debt burden while trying to build up an oil fund, but I can’t imagine an historically strong Scottish economy with great forecasts into the future would attract punitive borrowing costs, despite its small size.

The alternative, sticking tight to Sterling, would see the SNP sleepwalk into a No result, possibly with the awful aftertaste that they never really gave the referendum a right good go.

The other game changer that could see a dramatic increase in support for a Yes result is a referendum on UK involvement in the EU. European integration may yet develop at a dramatic pace over the next couple of years despite a solution to the Eurozone crisis still seemingly a long way off. That solution is surely either political union or everyone back to their national corners (and currencies). A European political superstate with the Eurozone nations at the core would see the UK even more marginalised than it currently is and, with a whopping 83% of grassroots Tories wanting an in/out referendum and UKIP steadily gaining ground in polls, who is to say that that referendum won’t be sooner rather than later.

I wouldn’t want to overstate how pro-European Scotland is, but for us to be outside of the European Union, as an independent country or as part of the UK, is simply unthinkable and surely theoretically a strong reason alone to vote Yes for many Scots.

However, Alex Salmond cannot put up with getting slapped around by Johann Lamont for too much longer and there are too many Nats who believe Sterling is best for Scotland simply because Salmond said so. The rhetoric and waffle needs to be replaced with hard facts and convincing detail, underpinned with ambitions for a truly independent currency. Anything short of that and the SNP will just have to hope for a miracle, or a EU referendum before 2014, whichever is more likely.